Entrée

Karlheinz Essl / Richard Barrett


fLAME
Crossfade for two computer performers
Part of the work-in-progress fLOW (1998/99)


Pumpenhaus
Münster (D)

4 Feb 2000, 20:00 MET




fLOW is a site-specific work-in-progress that was started under ever-changing titles in October 1998. The entire project is carried out in numerous steps and takes place in various location with changing musicians from different fields like New Music, experimental jazz, free improvisation and New Electronic Music.


fLAME is the 20th realisation within this project written for a performance with the British composer and improviser Richard Barrett. This piece is based on a time score of two parts (determining the sequence of pre-defined sound and structure types in time) where the one layer is the exact retrograde of the other. By this, the relationship between the two performers changes gradually during the piece: in the beginning, Karlheinz Essl starts with the sound scape of fLOW (using "water" material) which is commented by short solistic actions of Richard Barrett. At the end, the sound scape is played by Barrett (this time transformed into "fire" material), whereas Essl acts as a soloist.


Karlheinz Essl Richard Barrett

Karlheinz Essl and Richard Barrett during the performance of fLAME


Here is a schematic score of the time structure (overall duration = 36 minutes):


Essl  
S1
w
D1
e
S2
e
G1
a
D2
a
S3
a
P1
f
D3
f
G2
f
P2
w
S4
f
G3
w
D4
w
P3
e
G4
e
P4
a
Barrett  
P1
f
G1
a
P2
w
D1
e
G2
f
S1
w
P3
e
G3
w
D2
a
P4
a
S2
e
D3
f
G4
e
S3
a
D4
w
S4
f



The piece is composed of 4 different structure types that occur in 4 variants. Each variant has a different duration (1', 1'30", 2'30" or 4') and uses another sound material. A variant is characterised by the alternation of a musical phrase followed by a period of silence. The duration of phrases and silences is not precisely determined and can be chosen spontanousely by the performer according to the evolving situation and the given global indications.


SoundScape
Slightly changing and moving textures of flowing sounds. Long phrases, rather no silences. Character: calm, flowing, slow motion. - Listen to the 4 different appearances of the SoundScape based on different sound materials by clicking the mp3 icon below:

mp3     water

mp3     earth

mp3     air

mp3     fire

Drone
Long sustained sounds with slow crescendo and decrescendo which stay in the same register. Long phrases, short silences. Character: stable, supportive, grounded.

Grid
Repeated sounds that form a rhythmical grid. Several grids can be superimposed. Phrases and silences of different lengths. Character: energetic, powerful, driving, moving onward.

Points
Pointillistic and expressive eruptions with sudden changing parameters forming phrases of different lengths, separated by pauses of variable durations. Character: nervous, eloquent, dynamic, tense, complex, orgasmic.


The sound material is described by the metaphor of the Four Elements that form the underlying principle of the entire fLOW project:

Water
Character: cold; flowing, dripping, streaming, vaporizing.
Samples: ambient sounds of weather (wind, water, thunder), animals (birds, monkeys), humans (party, applause, traffic)

Earth
Character: cool; dark, dumpf, heavy, dense.
Samples: percussion (drums), strings (pizzicato, percussive sounds)

Air
Character: tempered; blowing, breathing.
Samples: voice (words, chants), percussion (bowed metal), woodwinds

Fire
Character: hot; light, crickling, burning.
Samples: percussion (wood instruments, beaten metal instruments), e-guitar, brass instruments


The performance of fLOW takes advantage of the following electronic equipment: Richard Barrett uses a G3 PowerBook with the STEIM software LISA together with a MIDI keyboard and a MIDI controller. Karlheinz Essl plays his realtime composition environment m@ze°2 on a G3 PowerBook and a Roland MCR-8 MIDI controller.



Richard Barrett (* 1959 in Swansea, Wales)
computer & keyboard

  Portrait Richard Barrett   Komponist und Elektronik-Performer. Studien: Genetik, Komposition (Peter Wiegold). Gewann 1986 den angesehenen "Kranichsteiner Musikpreis" der Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik und den "Gaudeamus-Preis" (Amsterdam 1989) für junge Komponisten. 1984 Gründung des "Ensemble Exposé". Neben seiner kompositorischen Tätigkeit tritt er mit Paul Obermayer im Improvisationsduo FURT auch als Live-Performer von elektronischer Musik hervor, daneben auch als Mitspieler von George Lewis und Evan Parker. Unterrichtet elektronische Musik am Konservatorium in Den Haag. Lebt in Amsterdam.


Karlheinz Essl (* 1960 in Wien)
computer & live-electronics

  Portrait Karlheinz Essl   Komponist und Elektronik-Performer. Studierte Musikwissenschaft und Komposition in Wien. 1990-94 "Composer in residence" bei den Darmstädter Ferienkursen für Neue Musik,1992/93 Realisierung eines Kompositionsauftrages am IRCAM in Paris. Unterrichtet "Computermusik" am Studio for Advanced Music & Media Technology (SAMT) der Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität in Linz. Komponiert Instrumentalwerke, elektronische Musik, interaktive Klanginstallationen, intermediale und Internet-Projekte. Tätigkeit als Performer im Bereich der Live-Elektronik. Zahlreiche Aufführungen im In- und Ausland. Internationale Zusammenarbeit mit den wichtigsten Ensembles für Neue Musik. 1996 Portraitkonzerte bei den Salzburger Festspielen. Lebt in Klosterneuburg bei Wien.


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Updated: 5 Jun 2006